Social Media Marketing, when done well, is a tremendously effective way of engaging current clients and reaching potential customers. When done poorly, however, it can serve no purpose at all and can potentially shine a negative light on your brand. Here are five hard rules to successful social media marketing!
If you choose to listen carefully to your customers in the social media world, they will tell you everything that is right with your company and all the things that are wrong. Listening is key not just in the success of your company online, but in all facets of life.
Pick & Choose
The list of social media platforms in which to market yourself is seemingly endless. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and Google+ are just a few of the major players, and there are so many more. The more platforms you add to your marketing plan, the more ineffective your reach will become. You cannot be all things to all people on all sites. Start small, with one site, flesh out your page and learn the nature of interacting on that platform. Pay attention to how people engage, what the etiquette is, and how others are successfully marketing themselves. Once you feel you’ve mastered the first site, add another and start the process again!
No matter the platform, you must be consistent with your posts and engagement. Post regularly; do not take long periods between posts, and don’t overload with posts at any one time. Consistency is your goal. This also applies to engaging with your followers. Check your site at least once a day, look for comments and likes/retweets and thank people accordingly.
Whether it is a discount on a product, a giveaway, or conveying quality information, offer your followers something of value. You have to give them a reason to pay attention to you! If your page consists of hollow, meaningless status updates (eg. “TGI Friday! Am I Right LOLZ?!?!?”), people will lose interest and move on. Remember… internet users have the world’s information at their fingertips. If you offer them nothing of value they’ll simply check out the next interesting thing, and they will do it quickly. And that is potential income lost.
Another philosophy that applies to social media but is not exclusive to it is the idea of thinking of others before yourself. How can I help these people? How can I help them grow their businesses? How can I help improve their lives? It’s the “Me” people who don’t last long in social media, coming in with a hard sell and turning people off. Social media allows companies and people of business to display a human side – to build relationships with their customers and to be of service to them. Embrace this in your marketing and your life and success will come.
Andy Bush, President